03. Open Sites


3.1 The guidelines set out in this Code of Practice refer mainly to concerts held in enclosed outdoor venues such as sports grounds. Nevertheless, the principles of the Code can be applied, in many respects, to pop concerts held in open sites. With such venues it would be difficult to apply the Code in all respects because of different conditions prevailing. While many of the provisions of the Code would apply to such venues, some will not and in these circumstances, the organisers of the event must show where alternative safety arrangements can be made, following discussions with the Local Authority, Gardaí and Health Board. Safety arrangements would depend on the nature of the overall area, including the inner viewing area, type of surface, whether level or sloping, and exits.

Free Pop Concerts

3.2 The principles outlined in this Code of Practice will also apply to free pop concerts held in public parks or elsewhere. At such venues there may be difficulty in ensuring that the safe holding capacity is not exceeded. To this end it will be necessary for the Promoter to issue free tickets or tickets at a nominal cost in respect of the event. The distribution of tickets should be completed in advance of the day of the event. This is only likely to apply if a crowd in excess of 70% of predetermined sale holding capacity is expected.

3.3 If the event is held in a large public park, where there are extensive areas of land for patrons to spread out on, the potential for overcrowding will be reduced. The Office of Public Works should be consulted in relation to lands under their aegis. If a particularly attractive band were to perform in such an open site the difficulties regarding crowd management and control increase. An estimate of the expected crowd must be determined in order that safety arrangements, including the stewarding of barriers, particularly at the front-of-stage, can be put in place.

3.4 The type of artists will also determine the extent of safety precautions required. The primary area of danger is at front-of-stage where crowd pressure is greatest. If large crowds are expected very careful preplanning must be carried out. Such preplanning should include consideration of the type of front-of-stage barriers required. This should be decided in consultation with the Local Authority, Gardaí and with agreement of the Health Board. Where appropriate the relevant Voluntary Aid Organisations should be consulted. Guidance on barriers is contained in Chapter 8 of this Code.

3.5 Service Areas will be required at a number of locations on the periphery of the site. Each service area should contain a First-Aid Point, Information Desk, Hot Food Franchise, Soft Drink Franchise, Toilets. Water Points, etc.. The extent and siting of these Service Areas should be decided following consultation with the Local Authority, Gardaí and the relevant Voluntary Aid Organisation(s) and with agreement of the Health Board.

3.6 Access routes must be laid out with suitable barriers which cannot be overturned. They should be kept free of patrons and be available for use by ambulances and by first-aid and emergency services. Careful consideration should be given to the arrangement for these access routes to ensure that they do not create further crowd control problems.

3.7 A traffic management plan should be prepared in accordance with the guidance set out in Chapter 10.